Visitors to the North Okanagan had an unexpected adventure.
On Tuesday night, Vernon Search and Rescue was asked by the RCMP to locate a group of individuals hiking on the west slope of Silver Star Mountain, with the youngest being a five-year-old.
A family visiting from Europe, along with some local youth, had gone on a hike from the Armstrong side of Silver Star, towards Proctor Lake. Two adults, eight children and a pet cat had begun hiking up the hillside at 2 p.m. and they became disoriented hours later as daylight began to fade.
“VSAR teams initially had little information about the group, their outdoor experience or level of preparedness. Considering the age of the subjects, the changing conditions and the terrain, the search was given a high urgency,” states a release.
The weather was deteriorating and the temperature dropping as search teams were deployed from points above and below the area of the subjects’ approximate position. Using ATVs, teams searched for and located the cold, lost subjects west of Proctor Lake. They were then led to safety, where they were loaded into vehicles and transported to Vernon.
“The hikers were thankful to be warm and dry once again and the cat seemed happy too. They admitted that they were caught unprepared,” states the release.